Rodney

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Rodney last won the day on June 16

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About Rodney

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  • Website URL
    https://www.linkedin.com/in/rodneyrawlings/

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Toronto
  • Interests
    Songwriting and music; epistemology, and epistemology relating to mathematics (see my essay UNDERSTANDING IMAGINARIES THROUGH HIDDEN NUMBERS); and philosophy generally.

Previous Fields

  • Full Name
    Rodney Rawlings
  • Description
    I am a Toronto Objectivist. In 2011 after many and varied struggles in the field of music I turned to writing specifically art songs. Now, so far, I have had my art songs and concert band pieces performed in Toronto; in Austin, Texas; in Chicago; in Chautauqua, New York; in Geneva, Illinois; in Elgin, Illinois; and in Munster, Indiana. I write the lyrics to almost all my songs, which concern reverence, aspiration, romance, independence, and the future. These themes also occur in those songs for which I have adapted an existing text.
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  1. I have made my own YouTube video for "When Matter Touches Antimatter." The audio is from the World Premiere, performed by tenor Brian Minnick, November 3, 2017, at Central Presbyterian Church, Austin, Texas. https://youtu.be/Xd1Oi2Kzs_s The song was a winner of the Second Fresh Squeezed Ounce of Art Song competition, hosted by One Ounce Opera.
  2. I should mention I don't like 90% of her work, especially the later things (I admit I have not heard much of it)! But the things I do like I find stimulating and challenging. Moreover, I am fascinated by her personality, which you might as well get a sample of here. I am a melody man, and there is not much of a tune in this song ("Hunter"), but there are other aspects of the music I do like--and look at her facial expressions as she sings!
  3. I was aware of the Regina connection, having noticed it mentioned in a YouTube comment also. I don't think Björk so much was influenced by Regina as admired and identified with her. Björk had, very early on, quite a repertoire of vocal expressive tools, completely sui generis, as is shown in her very first independent release, Human Behavior (which I'm hoping you've never heard--it's a great example of her virtuosic vocalizations!)--which shot her to major fame. You bring up many subjects that I don't have time to discuss these days. Maybe sometime later. (You certainly have a varied history and background in many topics! Your theme song might be Björk's 'I've Seen It All,' the song nominated for an Oscar she would have gotten at the ceremony where she wore that 'swan dress.')
  4. Her approach to music and songwriting is completely alien to my own, and yet some of her records, and the things she does with her voice, really get me. A basic part of her personality is expressed in "Isobel," https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2NxVxZTyok4 . Note the primal cry about three-quarters through. That wasn't on the record, but it may have developed in repeated performance, and I hear it as the hidden torment of being direct and natural in a world of artificiality. She was interviewed in 2007 by Harp magazine: HARP: Do you feel as if you stayed young for as long as you wanted or that you grew up – grew too mature – for your youth ? Bit of both. Because I had to be self-sufficient from early age, I sort of peaked at age seven. And the balance I found then has sort of stayed with me. I’m half child half ancient. [Emphasis mine.]
  5. I wouldn't say it is 'affected,' but it is mostly in jest, I believe. At the time, she was in punk bands that thumbed their noses at all musical and social conventionality. I don't know the context of this clip, except that it was part of a TV show about the band she was in at the time, and she might have taken the opportunity to do a bit that would draw on her preexisting positive feelings about technology and yet also align with the attitudes of her bandmates and likely of herself at the time. The innocence that comes through is real, though (see her early interviews, as in the first clip I posted and elsewhere), and I find it utterly charming.
  6. Here is Björk at a much earlier stage of her technology-love, where she dissects and defends TV: Honestly, I don't know just how to take this. Judge for yourself!
  7. Here she is, defending, as only she can, man's dominion over nature; machines; and modernity--including nuclear energy:
  8. I could have worded my joke more clearly--sorry about that!
  9. Rand famously said, "[T]hose who try to be all things to all men, end up by not being anything to anyone." There exists video of a young Ayn Rand going into more detail on this principle and how she arrived at it. Here it is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JS-yTAELra8&feature=youtu.be&t=486 (Note from MSK: YT is confusing at times. The short link embeds when starting at 8:06. The long link doesn't.)
  10. I've now received the audio from a rehearsal for the Fountain Hills, AZ, concert that took place April 13, and so I've added suitable visuals to create a YouTube video: https://youtu.be/PdMKVO2uxU4 And here is a Dropbox link for anyone who would like to have the actual video file: https://www.dropbox.com/s/h0djohmhk83jzf9/to%20venus%20and%20mars%2C%202018%20version_0002.wmv?dl=0
  11. Thanks for your interest. Below is a video of the premiere in Chicago. (Note: In the middle section she sings the word 'strange,' but it should be 'vain.')
  12. I was recently asked by an organization called The Voices of Vienna for permission to use my song "To Venus and Mars" at a concert on April 13. The attached has been created for this event. I am referred to on page 2, as "Rawlings." I love the Vienna and Franz Lehár connections! Lehár was my original inspiration to start writing music. It is especially pleasing to me because this song expresses the Objectivist metaphysics in an essential sense.
  13. Rodney

    “When Matter Touches Antimatter” in Minneapolis

    Success! I asked the singer, Aliese Hoesel, how the performance went and she replied: Hello, Rodney! Yes, the performance went quite well! The audience was full of interested and appreciative art goers! I got lots of positive feedback on your piece from people after the show. Your work was a hit! Thank you for the opportunity to sing it! Aliese
  14. Rodney

    “When Matter Touches Antimatter” in Minneapolis

    The concert has taken place! Of course, I wasn't there. I wonder if there will be any newspaper review, as there was for the Austin performance of this song by One Ounce Opera. Opera on Tap, which hosted this show, did make this announcement later the same evening: Opera on Tap - Twin Cities was attending OOT Twin Cities Presents: New Arias On Tap at honey mpls. March 11 at 11:54pm · Minneapolis, MN, United States · A huge thank you to all of the composers, singers, librettists, and our stellar accompanist Emily Urban for being a part of our New Arias on Tap performance tonight. What a show!!! Bravi!!!!
  15. Rodney

    “When Matter Touches Antimatter” in Minneapolis

    Sorry, above I had said 'Jon' but I meant 'Jonathan.' I've corrected.